|Environment Agency and HMRC day of action tackles waste crime|
More than 60 suspected illegal waste sites will get unannounced visits from the Environment Agency and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) today in their biggest joint day of action to date.
Officers will visit sites across Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire to follow up on specific reports of activity carried out illegally, such as burning of commercial waste or vehicle dismantling. This kind of activity can blight communities, damage the environment and undercut legitimate businesses – impacts the Environment Agency is working hard to prevent.
HMRC is working jointly with the Environment Agency and other partners to help waste site operators understand what they need to do to comply with their tax obligations in relation to operating a waste site.
EA officers will sport body-worn cameras to deter aggression and abuse towards them, which is on the rise nationally. Footage from the cameras could be used to press charges against offenders.
Advice and guidance will be offered to legitimate businesses, and follow-up visits made to sites where criminal and illegal activities are confirmed.
Pete Stark, Enforcement team leader with the Environment Agency, said:
“Waste criminals like those we’re tracking down today flout the law and put our communities and our environment at risk.
“That’s why we’re working closely with HMRC to tackle waste crime and make sure businesses are following environmental and financial laws. We take waste crime extremely seriously and will do everything we can to bring those responsible to account.
“These visits have been organised as a direct result of reports from local people, so we’d urge anyone with information about illegal activities to call our 24 hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers.
“Together with legitimate businesses and local communities, we can tackle crime in the waste sector, make a difference for our environment and make a better society for everyone.”
Emilia Armattoe-Fowler, HMRC, said:
“We want to create a level playing field for those that comply with tax requirements in the waste sector. That’s why we’re working with the Environment Agency to tackle non-compliance at unauthorised waste sites, helping them get their right tax at the right time.
“Any person or business that disposes of material at an unauthorised waste site, or knowingly causes or permits the disposal, may be jointly and severally liable for Landfill Tax and a penalty of up to 100 per cent of the tax due, or face criminal prosecution.
“If you think someone is evading tax, you can report it online or by telephone on 0800 788 887.”
Evidence gathered from the visits will be used against those breaking the law. Further enforcement action could include work with our partners such as local authorities, police and HMRC to prevent and disrupt crime, the serving of notices to have waste removed from land, and prosecution of offenders. If convicted of illegal waste activity, offenders face extensive fines and even prison sentences.
Earlier this year EA officers in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire visited nearly 30 sites in a single day – uncovering illegal activity at 11. Across both counties, more than two dozen cases are currently under formal investigation.
More information on the requirements for disposing of business or commercial waste can be found on gov.uk.
THE POPULAR Lincolnshire Show will be hosting ‘Show Comes to Town’ in Lincoln city centre on Saturday 25 May.
Held in Cornhill, the free to attend event will see animals, tractors, interactive activities and lots of local produce for shoppers to get a taste of what’s to come at the highly-anticipated Lincolnshire Show at the Lincolnshire Showground on 19 and 20 June.
From 10am until 3pm, visitors to the Show Comes to Town event will be able to take part in activities with Lincoln City Football Club, meet animals from Rand Farm Park and sample food from Yellowbelly Sausage Co and Old Elephant Fudge as they enjoy the variety of entertainment on offer from local dance groups and choirs. Shoppers will also hear the latest news on the anticipated highlights of this year’s Lincolnshire Show, as well as purchase their advanced tickets at a discounted price.
Jayne Southall, CEO of Lincolnshire Showground, said: “Show Comes to Town is essentially a mini Lincolnshire Show in the city centre and it’s a fantastic way to get a taste of the main event in June. With this year marking the 135th Lincolnshire Show and the 150th anniversary of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society – the charity behind the Show – we’ve got an amazing event lined up and a brilliant host of special anniversary celebrations across the two days.”
Jayne continued: “One of the main aims of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society is to educate people on the importance of agriculture, farming and where our food comes from.”
Recently announced highlights for the 2019 Lincolnshire Show include the return of the RAF Falcons aerial display team; back by popular demand to wow the crowds with their daring parachute displays.
Visitors will also be able to visit the Money Saving Expert himself as Martin Lewis brings ‘The Martin Lewis Money Show’ to the Showground. Over the years the financial guru has saved the nation millions of pounds with his financial advice and visitors will be able to put his knowledge to the test with their questions.
This year’s event will also feature a Dakota flypast, acrobatic stunts from the UK’s top ranked freestyle motocross riders Broke FMX, the Shetland Pony Grand National, and performances from the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue band.
Advanced tickets for the Lincolnshire Show will be available to purchase at ‘Show Comes to Town’ and are £21 for adults, £17 for 17 to 22-year-olds, children are £6 and under-fives go free. Family tickets, admitting two adults and up to three children are priced at £44. Car parking is free on both days.
For more information on tickets, exhibiting, sponsorship opportunities, membership or hospitality packages, please visit www.lincolnshireshow.co.uk
Environment Agency teams have moved around 700 fish to safety
More than 500 fish and nearly 200 protected crayfish have been rescued and moved to safety after a pollution in a Lincolnshire river put them at risk.
The white-clawed crayfish – a protected native species under threat across the country – were saved by Environment Agency ecologists and transported to safe locations where their populations can re-establish out of harm’s way.
Fast-acting fisheries experts also recovered wild brown trout, bullhead, and coarse fish, moving them away from the pollution and downstream to safety while clean-up efforts got underway.
The rescue was undertaken after a tractor overturned last week, spilling fertiliser into Gunby Brook, a tributary of the River Witham. Samples showed high levels of ammonia in up to 4km of watercourse – putting the river’s delicate ecology at risk.
Environment Agency officers were swift to respond, working with the landowner to contain the pollution behind a series of temporary dams, carrying out sampling and monitoring conditions, and providing specialist advice on clean-up.
The affected water is now being treated and some of the temporary dams are being removed, where it is safe to do so, in order to restore the natural flow within the river.
An investigation is now underway into the circumstances surrounding the incident, which could lead to further action in the future.
Pete Reilly, Area Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said:
“This is a prime example of how we aim to protect wildlife and nature – undertaking this rescue meant we were able to save hundreds of creatures which otherwise could have been killed even as we were working non-stop to control the pollution.
“The spill is now contained and clean-up is ongoing, but our teams are still closely monitoring conditions and an investigation is underway.
“Protecting people and the environment is our priority and we take every pollution seriously, so please report any environmental incidents to us on 0800 80 70 60 so we can respond as quickly as possible.”
Native white-clawed crayfish have been in decline since the 1970s, when the invasive American signal crayfish escaped into UK waters. These invasive crayfish carry a plague that kills off the native species, and outcompetes them for food and habitat.
The UK is home to a quarter of the world’s white-clawed crayfish and the river Witham and its tributaries are home to tens of thousands, making it one of the largest strongholds in the country.
The rescued 58 male and 41 female crayfish, plus juveniles and eggs, have been moved to safe locations in the nearby Cringle Brook and Wyville Brook.
You can read more about the Environment Agency’s work to protect native crayfish in Lincolnshire on our website.
The 2019 Nursing and Care Conference took place on Tuesday, 14 May at The Lincolnshire Showground.
Over 200 people attended the event, to celebrate best practice showcased by the nursing and care teams at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT).
Keynote speakers included Simon Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of the NHS England, who provided an insight on the NHS Long Term Plan and spoke of the importance of ensuring mental health has the same priority as physical health when caring for people. He also spoke about how the NHS is working collectively to ensure acute and mental health services are fully integrated in the future.
Malcolm Rae, Jimmy Gittins and Ian Smith from the State of Mind Sport charity spoke about the power of sport to promote positive mental health amongst sportsmen and women, fans and wider communities, to ultimately prevent suicide. They gave an insightful and thought provoking presentation which included personal stories that inspired and moved others to speak up about mental health problems.
MiXit drama group performed to highlight STOMP a national NHS campaign to stop the over-medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both – encouraging individuals, families and healthcare services to stop the over use of psychotropic medicines and to improve people’s quality of life.
Eight workshops were run by LPFT staff and colleagues from Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who shared their work on community, inpatient, older adults and specialist services.
Representatives from LPFT and partner organisations held stands with information for delegates and gave insight into services.
Three individuals were recognised in LPFT’s nursing and care superhero awards for their outstanding work and passion in their roles. This year’s winners were Health Care Support Worker, Gavin Gregory, Learning Disability Nurse,Rebecca O’Nians, and our Deputy Director of Nursing, Zoe Rowe.
Anne-Maria Newham MBE, Deputy Chief Executive, who summarised and closed the conference said:
“It has been a fabulous event; we have had some inspirational speakers today. The personal stories have been truly moving and it’s clear to see that nursing is who we are, not what we do.
“This has been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and showcase our nursing and care careers and all the good work that our nursing and care colleagues do each and every day.”
Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England said:
“It was a pleasure to see first hand the work of NHS staff in Lincolnshire, and to meet some of the exceptional carers and nurses rightly recognised for their work.
“Getting the best care for our patients also means continuing to recruit the best and brightest staff, and the new medical school for the area opening later this year will be a boost to the community, as part of the ongoing drive to bring more doctors, nurses, therapists, physios and other health professionals into Lincolnshire’s NHS.”
The Environment Agency has resumed seasonal water quality testing at more than 400 popular swimming spots – including 9 beloved Lincolnshire beaches.
Last year, all of Lincolnshire’s bathing waters got top marks for having clean water. Water quality at Skegness, Ingoldmells, Chapel St Leonards, Anderby, Moggs Eye, Sutton on Sea, Mablethorpe, Humberston Fitties and Cleethorpes were all rated ‘excellent’.
Across the country, water quality remained high with 97.9% of bathing waters in England meeting the tough standards. 92.4% of these locations achieved the top rating of Excellent or Good, meaning visitors to the seaside have 388 top-rated coastal and inland bathing waters to choose from.
The Environment Agency tests water quality at every official bathing water to ensure it is maintained and improved. Beach-goers can check the water quality at their nearest bathing water spot by visiting the Environment Agency’s Bathing Water Data Explorer website.
As well as making sure people can make informed choices about where to bathe, this regular monitoring supports ongoing work to maintain and improve water quality supporting the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.
The Environment Agency continues to work with water companies, councils and local communities to keep our beaches clean, reduce pollution and protect our environment.
Helen Wakeham, Head of Water Quality at the Environment Agency, said:“Water quality has improved at English beaches over the last two decades giving locals and tourists a better experience as well as benefiting the environment.
“Improving water quality at our beaches is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the work of Environment Agency staff, water companies, local authorities, farmers, volunteers and NGOs. It shows what energy and commitment can achieve for the environment and people.”
“Water quality test data is published on the Environment Agency’s website and notifications of water quality issues for over 350 locations in the UK are available via the Safer Seas Service app, so we urge people to check as part of planning your trip to the beach.”
Over the last twenty years water quality has improved. In the early 1990’s, just 28 per cent of bathing waters would have met the highest standards and last year 92.4% achieved Excellent or Good.
The Environment Agency will continue to collaborate and drive improvements nationally and look for local solutions to achieve the goal in the government’s 25 Year Plan to further reduce the bacteria in our bathing waters by 2030.
Water companies have invested over £2.5 billion on projects that have improved water at swimming beaches. Water companies have signed up to Environment Agency proposals to improve 24 bathing waters between 2020-2025.
All members of the public can help keep water clean by taking all rubbish with them after visits to the beach, not leaving dog mess on the beach and never flushing wet wipes or pouring fats down drains.
Pollution from sewage and pollution from agriculture are generally recognised as the two most significant sources but there are some local variations.
At some beaches pollution from farm run-off has an impact on water quality. Surveys have shown that around a third of bathing water pollution is caused by agriculture. In 2018 new farming rules for water were brought in.
The weather often has the greatest short-term influence on water quality. Heavy rain washes pollution off urban areas and rural land into rivers and the sea which causes a temporary dip in water quality. The Bathing Water Data Explorer website may advise against swimming and the water quality app from Surfers Against Sewage includes EA pollution alerts in addition to data from water companies providing the public with up to date information before deciding where to swim.
In addition to information being made available online, signs are displayed at beaches with the bathing water classifications.
As part of celebrations for International Nurses’ Day, two nurses from the local mental health and learning disabilities trust visited Westminster Abbey in London yesterday, Wednesday, 15 May.
Anne-Maria Newham MBE, Deputy Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) and Deputy Director of Nursing, Zoë Rowe were invited to a service to commemorate the life of Florence Nightingale at Westminster Abbey.
The service was conducted by The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster and also marked the centenary of the funeral of Edith Cavell.
Edith Cavell is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides during the First World War.
The nurse leaders were amongst a packed audience of dignitaries, Chelsea Pensioners, university academics, Armed Forces representatives and students from across the country.
Anne-Maria Newham, MBE said: “It was a privilege to be invited to such a prestigious event and I was proud to represent LPFT and Lincolnshire nurses.
“Zoë and I were honoured to attend such a poignant service in which the life of Florence Nightingale, the founder of nursing was celebrated and remembered.”
The service is held annually, close to 12 May to commemorate Florence Nightingale’s birthday, which is now International Nurses’ Day.
INC 59 of yesterday (Saturday 4th May)
Police were contacted on Saturday morning by a resident of Lambeth Walk, Stamford who was concerned about the behaviour of his neighbour.
Items had been thrown into his garden and verbal threats of harm made.
Police made repeated attempts to contact the man inside his house and after he did not respond, officers entered the house just after 2pm and arrested him for making threats to kill.
He was taken to Grantham police station to be interviewed and later released on police bail with conditions.
The investigation will continue.
A brand new event celebrating all things cycling promises a host of free, family fun this summer.
Organised by Access Lincoln, North Kesteven District Council and Giant, Cycle Fest is a free event taking place in the grounds of Doddington Hall on Saturday 1 June – the day before the Giant Lincoln Sportive.
There will be a range of cycling activities for all the family to try, including a pump bike track, a virtual velodrome racing simulator, have-a-go KMX karts, and children’s mountain bike taster sessions.
In addition, you can enjoy a led-ride and treasure hunt in Skellingthorpe Old Wood, while Giant will have demonstration bikes and will be providing free bike safety checks.
Alison Mackfall, Access Lincoln project co-ordinator, said: “With cycling becoming more and more popular, we thought the time was right for the county to have its very own Cycle Fest.
“With so much on offer, it will appeal to both cycling fanatics and those wanting to find out what all the fuss is about.
“There will also be food marquees where you can grab a bite to eat and lots of other entertainment for the family.
“It’s the ideal family day out for the end of the half-term week.”
Tony Mabbott, strategic leisure contract manager at North Kesteven District Council, added:“One of the council’s corporate priorities is to improve the health, wellbeing and sustainability of the district and we are committed to working with partners such as Access Lincoln to achieve this.
“Cycling has many benefits, not only for the cyclist’s health but also the wider quality of the environment; we must not forget the simple fact that cycling is great fun and we hope this event will inspire even more families to cycle in the district.”
Access Lincoln is a Lincolnshire County Council initiative, supported by Lincoln BIG and funded by the Department of Transport.
For more on Access Lincoln visit www.accesslincoln.co.uk .
Experts warn of drugs being available at “pocket money prices”
| Public Health England has recently released a report on the estimated number of crack cocaine and opiate users across each region of England, aged between 15 and 64 years old. |
The report – analysed by concerned addiction treatment experts at UKAT (www.ukat.co.uk) – reveals that almost 25,000 people estimated to be using both crack cocaine and opiates like Heroin and opiate-based prescription drugs live across the East Midlands, a figure that has risen by almost 2,000 in just 4 years.
Worryingly, these figures don’t even include anyone using cocaine in powder form, amphetamines, ecstacy or cannabis.
The data is based on users identified across the East Midlands between 1st March 2016 and 31st March 2017.
Area Number of crack/opiate users
EAST MIDLANDS TOTAL 24,828
Data presented by UKAT sourced from Public Health England
The number of people living across the East Midlands aged only 15-24 and using opiates and/or crack cocaine currently stands at over 2,000 and is of particular concern to the addiction expert team at UKAT;
“Public Health England’s data clearly shows that an alarming number of teenagers and young adults are addicted to these incredibly potent substances.
“They’re seeking the feeling of euphoria at pocket money prices- crack rocks can be purchased for as little as a fiver with dealers available any time of day at the click of a button.
“Teenagers misusing crack and opiates at such an early age will not only suffer with the physical effects of the drugs, but the drugs could impact their education, overall achievement in life and expose them to a criminal environment at a young age, without full understanding of the risks and consequences of their actions” suggests UKAT’s CEO and former addict Eytan Alexander.
It’s not just the younger population of the East Midlands addicted to crack and opiates. The number of people recorded as using crack and opiates aged 25-34 stands at 7,589 with a further 15,192 people hooked aged 35-64.
Alexander continued: “The impact of a person misusing these drugs in later life has a knock-on effect on their family, children, spouses as well as their own personal health, which will deteriorate at a much faster pace if drug use continues, and for some, will prove fatal.”
POLICE are appealing to identify the two men in the images to assist with a non-dwelling burglary inquiry.
On 2 March, two men arrived at a farm yard in Tattershall, and arrived in a white flatbed truck, before taking a quantity of tools.
If you believe you can recognise the two men in the images, please let police know by calling 101 quoting ref number 19000109875, or by emailing email@example.com
Alternatively, contact Crime stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
With astronauts, rockets, planets and even a friendly alien, BRICKLIVE Outer Space is a LEGO® brick built adventure into the solar system!
Running at Lincoln Castle from Wednesday 1st May to Sunday 2nd June, the carefully selected models provide a fun mix of learning and photo opportunities that are guaranteed to delight everyone viewing this exciting new touring show.
Kimberley Vickers, general manager, said: “Last year’s Brick Kingdom was really popular with visitors, and we’re sure BRICKLIVE Outer Space will be equally successful, especially given that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landings.
“The new collection will include models of famous astronauts Neil Armstrong, Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova, as well as some extra-terrestrial visitors!
“It promises to be an out-of-this-world experience, and just one of the many exciting events we’re hosting this summer.”
A Lincoln Castle day ticket or Lincoln Castle annual pass is required for entry. Seewww.lincolncastle.com for further details.